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CDA assists smokers kick the habit

The CDA’s Peter Ucko chats to Talk Radio 702 about hypnotherapy and methods of curbing smoking.

South Africa plans to increase ban on smoking in public places and certain outdoor places. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Smokers must want to quit before any kind of withdrawal therapy can begin.

According to Chairman Marketing and Communications for the Central Drug Authority (CDA), Peter Ucko, hypnotherapy has not been shown to be an effective method of curbing smoking but nicotine replacement therapy including sprays, gums and patches have proven most effective.

Ucko, is the former Director of the National Council Against Smoking, spoke to Talk Radio 702's John Webb about overcoming addiction and the measures CDA has taken to try and help people kick nicotine addiction.

Ucko said, "Many researchers say giving up nicotine is as difficult as giving up heroin and cocaine."

He said the best advice he could give, especially to young people, is to never start.

Ucko added quitting takes everything and one should try everything to quit.

He said there is a trend towards healthy living, exercising and eating well, calling it "the in thing."

He added the ban on cigarette advertising had a big impact on helping people stop smoking because, "It's not the product being advertised but the lifestyle," he said.

The CDA works with the Department of Social Development in order to prevent addictions and help addicts on the road to recovery.

ANTI-SMOKING LAWS

Earlier this year it was announced smokers would find it more difficult to get their daily fix with new tobacco regulations that will not allow cigarettes to be displayed in shops.

African National Congress (ANC) delegates voted for stricter anti-smoking laws during the party's elective conference in Mangaung in December.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he would sign a protocol in Geneva that will force the South African government to ensure there are no cigarettes on display in shops.

"Cigarettes must not be displayed in stores. They must be hidden somewhere."

Motsoaledi said a national law will also be passed this year to ban alcohol advertising as well.

The minister said he will target the advertising of alcohol and tobacco to make it less attractive for users.

He said companies spent outrageous amounts on advertising during 2012.

"Three alcohol companies are spending R1 billion per annum just on advertising."

He said if the abuse of alcohol and tobacco is not dealt with there will be an increase in lifestyle diseases, which will make the planned National Health Insurance (NHI) too expensive.

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